The concept of joy is hard to define with words, but it’s one of those things that we know when we see it. We know when we are overflowing with joy, and we know when we’ve had it and are losing it. Psalm 30:11 says that God wants to robe us with joy. What a beautiful promise!
As leaders, we must be overflowing with joy. You are a leader in whatever season God has called you to. Whether you work in a church, run a business, or lead in your home, joy is your secret weapon. To put it simply, joy matters. We serve better, smile wider, and operate with lightness inside of us. God designed us to live in joy. It is the fuel for our souls.
Imagine trying to drive a car with an empty gas tank. Impossible, right? The same is true for leading without joy. When we operate without joy, everything is heavier and harder. But with joy, there is no mountain you can’t climb, no problem you can’t solve, no valley you can’t travail.
So let me ask you a question: how are you doing with your joy? Is the “empty” light going off on your joy tank? We live in a day and age that is distinctly void of joy, but I have good news for you — God is in the business of restoring joy. Psalm 51:12 shows us that we can call on God to restore to us the joy of our salvation.
If you feel like your joy tank is running on empty, here are three ways to restore your joy.
Joy comes from...
First and foremost, our joy is restored in the presence of Jesus. It might sound simple and arbitrary, but if you get this and nothing else, you have got something good.
Galatians 5 talks about the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I don’t know about you, but I want to see these things in my life. I want the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in the way I lead others. The fruit of the Spirit grows from fellowship in the presence of Jesus. Because joy is a promised outcome of time with Him, it means that our joy never has to be forced or faked. There is no limit to our access to Jesus, meaning there is no limit to our access to joy!
If you are lacking joy, prioritize His presence like never before and watch as your joy tank is refilled.
Joy comes from...
James 1:2 famously tells us to "consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds." This teaches us that joy comes from our perspective — we have a choice in how we view our situation. Depending on the lens with which you look at your circumstances, you will see joy either bloom or bust.
This is the difference between joy and happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I like being happy as much as the next person. But happiness is directly tied to what’s going on around us. If circumstances are good, we feel good. If circumstances are bad, our happiness evaporates. It’s up and down. Joy is different because it’s tied to Jesus rather than our situation. Our joy can be constant because Jesus is constant. No matter what is swirling around you, Jesus inside of you is steady.
I want to challenge you to examine your lens. Your perspective will make a massive difference in how much joy is involved in your ministry, your family, your marriage, your teams. Remove the lens of grumbling and replace it with a lens of gratitude. Viewing your life through a grateful perspective assures that you will never be short of joy in your journey.
Joy comes from...
If you press on and press through, you get joy. We are guaranteed hard times in life, but we are also guaranteed that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Romans 15:13 says that the God of hope fills us with all joy and peace as we trust Him. All joy! He’s a God of abundance and the measure of joy He wants to give you is no exception. As we trust Him, our hearts will be filled with so much joy that it will overflow to our families, friends, neighbors, and teams by the power of the Holy Spirit. As you persevere, God will awaken something deep within you: joy.
Maybe as you read this, you realize your joy tank is empty. That you are in need of a restoration of joy. Let me encourage you that Jesus is a promise-keeper and we can take Him at His word! God cares about you and wants to restore the parts of your heart that have dried up. As you spend time in His presence, shift your perspective, and persevere through hard times, your need for joy will become a testimony of God’s faithfulness to restore all things.